Taxis In Nation’s Capital Less Than Accommodating
It’s a tough go trying to hail a cab in Washington, D.C. with a service dog by your side according to a recent study.
Amid numerous complaints from those with disabilities, The Equal Rights Center, a civil rights group, put taxi drivers in the nation’s capital to the test. Individuals fanned out across the city in teams of two, one with a service dog and one without. Both testers stood on the same side of a block — prominently positioning the tester with the service dog — and attempted to hail a cab.
In 30 tests, the tester with a service dog was passed half of the time. In another three cases, the person with the service dog was given a ride, but was informed by the driver that they would incur an extra fee because of the animal, which is against the law. The testers were treated equally the remaining 40 percent of the time.
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“The demonstrated willingness of taxi drivers to discriminate against individuals — in this case, people with visual disabilities — is a clear violation of the law, subjecting both taxi drivers and their companies to civil liability for discrimination,” the report indicates. “The continued widespread discrimination against people using service dogs by taxicab drivers in the District is unacceptable.”
The report recommends stronger enforcement and better training for taxi drivers and dispatchers.